However below is a list of four players I feel West Ham could realistically target next season:
Craig Mackail-Smith – 27 goals in 45 appearances for Peterborough this season, the guy is a proven goalscorer and I feel he would definitely be the right man to spearhead a new look West Ham attack.
Jon Ashton – A Rock at the back for Stevenage Borough this season along with Mark Roberts, a physical yet calm professional would provide a calm head at the back. Could he hack it at Championship level? I think it’s worth the risk. He wouldn’t command a massive fee or wages either.
Shane Long – Having seen him play against Stevenage in the FA Cup need-less to say I was impressed by the young Irishman. Full of pace and energy and a proven goalscorer with 21 goals in the Championship this season. With Premiership teams knocking would he be willing to stay in the Championship though?
Jonny Howson – Fantastic season for Leeds, great passer of the ball and a quality Championship player. Would be a fantastic play-maker in the middle of the midfield and a model professional for some of West Ham’s younger players.
All four of those are realistic targets and apart from Ashton, proven Championship players who are willing to fight for their team. West Ham have got to forget about “superstars” and turn to experienced Championship players who don’t lack passion and genuinely want to be playing at the top level. Manager-wise Steve McClaren being touted as the hot favorite to take over the reigns at Upton Park and as far as I’m concerned, he would be a fantastic appointment. He’s full of experience and would have the backing of the fans, unlike another suggested name Neil Warnock. It would appear the board have forgotten that this is the same man who tried and failed to sue the Hammers a couple of seasons ago and whose team successfully sued West Ham as well. Nonetheless, he does have fantastic Championship experience after winning the league with QPR this season so in that sense he would be a very good appointment, however I personally cannot see this happening due to the history he has with the club.
To conclude, relegation is going to hurt West Ham financially and there is no denying that a massive fire-sale in the summer is going to happen. But West Ham can’t rest on their laurels they need to attack the market and sign proven and experienced players who will be willing to put up a fight and see them promoted back up to the Premier League immediately. Hiring the right manager is key and I hope Sullivan, Gold and Brady take their time in appointing the right man for the job. Need-less to say more nail-biting and squeaky bum times ahead for West Ham but hey what do you expect, it wouldn’t be West Ham otherwise.
By Daniel Speller – West Ham United fan – @Daniel_Speller